?US will hit Iran if talks fail? | india | Hindustan Times
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?US will hit Iran if talks fail?

Washington is raising the pitch against Tehran's N-programme, drawing up plans for bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's N-sites as a "last resort" to block Tehran from developing N-weapons, says a report in London's Sunday Telegraph. Faced with a lack of consensus in the international community on how to tackle Iran's civil N-programme from developing into a weapons programme, the Pentagon is drawing up potential targets to strike to disable Iran's development of N-weapons.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 01:25 IST

Washington is raising the pitch against Tehran's nuclear programme, drawing up plans for bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, says a report in London's Sunday Telegraph.

Faced with a lack of consensus in the international community on how to tackle Iran's civil nuclear programme from developing into a weapons programme, the Pentagon is drawing up potential targets to strike to disable Iran's development of nuclear weapons.

They claim Iran will develop nuclear weapons capability within a couple of years, a prospect even India is not comfortable with, causing New Delhi to vote to report Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council. Diplomatic efforts have intensified to get Iran to agree to a Russian proposal that will allow it enriched uranium supplies for Tehran's development needs, but ensure that the actual enrichment occurs in Russia.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on record saying that India would not like another nuclear weapons power in the region. However, New Delhi is unlikely to support "any military action" against Iran, sources said.

With Iran's leadership increasingly strident against Israel, the Pentagon does not want Israel to be at the forefront of any possible military attack. When asked if they were planning any military action against Iran, Israeli strategic experts in Jerusalem had said recently Iran's nuclear programme was "the entire world's concern."

US Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation.

The war strategists are reporting to Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as the US is updating plans for action if the diplomatic offensive fails, the report said.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 01:05 IST